Well, in case you can't tell by my tone, I'm not all that excited. To be fair, I'm not really the person who gets excited over Morning Musume auditions, which is a bit ironic since that's one of the defining features of the group! The schtick of Momusu is mainly the rotating lineup so it's only natural that they'll have a constant stream of auditions, especially with the influx of new members and a pretty new image for them. With Reina graduating and Sayumi most likely not too far away, I'm certain that Tsunku is naturally looking for girls that will fill in the gaps once those two leave. But like I said, I'm really not all that excited; in fact, my first reaction on hearing that there was going to be auditions for a twelfth generation was "Again?" But then again, I didn't really get all excited about announcements for the 10th and 11th Generations either. Sure, when the actual audition footage and the finalists were revealed, that was when I got excited but for the most part, I was pretty chill about those auditions.
In fact, the only audition announcement I got really excited for was the 9th Generation and that's because it was my first Momusu audition to follow. I was a new fan at the time so back then auditions were a new experience not only for me but probably for a lot of other fans who discovered the group during the era where Takahashi Ai led the group and the lineup was stagnant. And for fans who followed Momusu both before and after the stable era of members, I'm certain the announcement of a 9th Generation was exciting. Then the 10th Generation auditions rolled around that very same year and I was surprised but also pretty interested to see who would make up the 10th Generation as it would give a good idea of what Momusu would be like after Ai graduated. Then the 11th Generation auditions were announced and I pretty much had a neutral reaction; my thought was "Didn't we just get the 10th Generation???" And now that the 12th Generation auditions have been announced, I think I can honestly say with no hint of embarrassment or shame... I do not give a shit.
Then again, standardized testing puts me in a pretty apathetic mood. Still, I've been trying to put my finger on just specifically how I feel about the announcement of a 12th Generation and I think I can pretty safely say that I do not give a shit. I've been a fan of Momusu for over two years now and this is Audition #4 I'm gonna have to sit through, and that's not even counting the S/mileage auditions. There's a point where I'm just gonna stop getting excited for another new generation, especially the more closely spaced each generation is to its predecessor. Look, I know that auditions are nothing new in a group like Morning Musume but you're bordering dangerously close on overkill, UFP. I think another reason why I'm just not that hyped up about 12th Generation auditions is I actually don't really enjoy the audition process that much. I hate seeing all these hopeful young girls who are putting everything into joining Morning Musume and knowing that not all of them are going to make it. Many of the are going to get cut and that's not even acknowledging those who make it to the final round. Fans develop attachments, others argue about who deserves to be in Morning Musume, some fans try to predict who will get in and how she'll affect the group, the entire process is a fiasco for both the girls who are auditioning and the fans watching intently.
I almost just wish the auditions wouldn't be broadcasted and one day, Tsunku would just come on stage and reveal the 12th Generation. But no, it has to be this long and tediously drawn-out process, where fans rip each other apart and others cry over their biases not getting in. It's what happened with the 9th, 10th, and 11th Generation auditions and I bet you this one isn't going to be any different. Unless Tsunku makes the auditioners do something bat-shit crazy like gather the smiles of 1,000 fans or perform a song whilst being attacked by armed forces trying to get rid of idols. Wait, am I talking about Momusu or AKB0048? Bottom line is I don't give a shit for yet another arduous round of auditions and I intend to continue not giving a shit until said auditions are over and the 12th Generation is revealed.
Oh, who am I kidding? Get back to me a few months later and I'll probably be blogging with a passion about who my biases are in the auditions and crying with everyone else when said biases don't get in!
But for now, there's generally nothing else to really talk about with the 12th Generation auditions beyond the fact that they're happening soon whether you like it or not. However, there have been a few theories floating around as to why the auditions are happening and what Tsunku's wanting in the 12th Generation. One of the most debated matters (which is always the case with every Morning Musume audition) is the number of girls that will be in this generation. Will it be one like it was with Sakura? Two? Five? Twelve? Negative six? The possibilities are endless! I can't think that the 12th Generation will have more than four girls though; the only generation that has is the first, and that consisted of four girls. Personally, I'm hoping that the number of girls in the 12th Generation will be two but I get the feeling that it'll probably be three or four. What I'm fairly certain of is that this generation likely won't consist of just one girl like with the 11th Generation. It just doesn't feel like something to happen two times in a row.
The theme of the 12th Generation auditions is Mirai Shoujo aka Future Girl. Well hey, maybe the Mirai Shoujo can visit the Mirai no Museum! See what I did there, linking Perfume to Momusu and... yeah, I'm pretty sure half the people reading this give a shit about Perfume as much as I give a shit about these auditions. But anyways, this Mirai Shoujo is supposed to be "A girl who can bring forth the future of Morning Musume," hence the "Mirai." Well, I'm confused; don't you already have the shining, shrieking ace in the form of Sayashi Riho? In fact, Riho, Mizuki, Sakura, Ayumi and even Masaki are all doing a pretty good job leading Momusu both visually and vocally. Sure for everyone else in the group it kind of sucks, but those five girls are the ones being pushed to lead Momusu after Reina and Sayu are gone. Where are new girls supposed to fit into this? Because you know what's gonna happen? One girl from the generation is going to get pushed and the rest are going to fill up the background. I think that reason is why I'm not that excited about auditions: because I'm afraid the 12th Generation is only going to take up space. That there are going to be too many girls with nothing to do but dance in the back while a small minority get pushed.
And do you really think everyone in the group right now is even going to stay? Sure, we all know Reina's leaving and Sayu's time is probably coming to an end pretty soon but for everyone else, it's a wild card. Just because these girls aren't old doesn't mean the possibility of another graduation is gone. Who knows? Maybe one girl will have "health problems" or another will want to "focus on her studies." If this new Morning Musume is supposed to be so much like the older Morning Musume, then I won't be surprised if there are graduations left and right. In fact, I'm anticipating that someone else besides Sayu or Reina is going to graduate; I don't know exactly when but I do know that there are going to be at least a few girls who don't last past age 20 in the group. After all, before Morning Musume's lineups became stagnant, the group didn't consist only of auditions are a rapid-fire pace but also graduations at a rapid-fire pace. Whose to say that this new era of Morning Musume isn't going to parallel the graduation rate of the era it's mirroring?
Luckily for any of you starting to panic out there, this is merely a little prediction of my own and one of the more far-fetched ones out there right now. But I'm going to keep graduations in mind as these new auditions proceed and when the 12th Generation is added to the group. It's like what Perfume said in their Edge song: "Everyone has to graduate someday." Well... technically they said "Everyone has to die someday" but the context kind of fits in this scenario, right? Right!? Well, I may not give a shit about the 12th Generation right now but once the auditions do start, I'm sure my curiosity will shoot up. And I'm more than certain that I'll be eagerly watching to see how the new generation fits into the group and what their debut single with Morning Musume will be. I also know there's been a lot of talk about a Youtube dancer named Cuca auditioning for Morning Musume this year; personally, I think it'd be fine if she got in. She has a clear love and adoration for the group which I think is great and she seems like a pretty good singer and dancer. What I'm worried about is how she'll react if she doesn't get in; she is a kid after all. But for now, that's far away, along with the auditions.
So because I can't think of an interesting poll to make about the 12th Generation, I have something a little more melancholic in my poll. Once Sayumi and Reina are gone, which member of Morning Musume do you think is going to graduate first? Feel free to vote as always, or stubbornly refuse to believe that any of the girls could possibly think of graduating and not vote at all! The choice is yours!